Maximise Athletic Performance: The Role of Nutrition & Performance Enhancing Supplements

A performance enhancing supplement

Whether you’re a part-time fitness enthusiast, a professional athlete—or anything in between—the way you fuel your body will have a huge impact on your performance.

With the right balance of nutrition and performance-enhancing supplement (the legitimate kind), you will level up your performance in ways you never thought possible.

Striking the right balance between nutrition and supplementation will power up your training sessions while boosting your daily energy levels and accelerating your post-workout recovery.

At Smart Protein, we understand that a little know-how goes a long way. So, we’re going to tell you all you need to know about performance-boosting nutritional and supplementation strategies right here.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

How can nutrition and sport supplements boost athletic performance?

Food and performance supplements serve as nutritional fuel. If you eat the right foods and get your fill of the right nutrients, you’ll optimise your body for maximum strength, energy, and endurance.

SmartFact: Studies show (1) that a well-planned diet can give athletes a significant competitive edge in a number of sporting disciplines. 

Whether you’re taking part in high-intensity exercise, an epic endurance challenge or a quick lunchtime training session, getting the right nutrients at the right time will hit your fitness goals.

Here’s how levelling up your nutrition can improve performance…

  • More power and training endurance
  • Less chance of injury
  • Swift recovery times
  • Sustained energy levels between training sessions
  • Better mood and improved stress management
SmartTip: Check out our Smart Guide on how certain supplements can reduce stress and boost concentration for better training outcomes.
Man Exercising With Kettlebell
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How to improve your exercise performance

To build muscle mass and boost exercise performance, feeding your body with the right nutrients at the right time is essential.

Without getting your fill of the right foods, you’ll never reach your full potential. And in many ways, getting your nutrition just right is equally important to training consistently hard. Basically, there’s no fire without fuel.

Here we’re going to look at how to use food-based nutrition as well as health and fitness supplements the Smart way.

Ps. remember that macronutrietns are a starting point, but everyone will be different and you’ll need to modify these based on individual needs.

Let’s kick things off with how to improve exercise performance with nutrition from food.

Nutrition for better sports performance

SmartFact: According to The Sleep Foundation (2), diet and, well, sleep, are the two biggest markers of long-term health and wellbeing. And, there’s a strong link between a poor diet and poor quality sleep.

From this insight alone, it’s plain to see that your diet plays a key role in almost everything you do—exercise is no exception.

To help you get your nutrition on track and level up your performance, here are some insider tips from Smart Protein HQ (just for you).

Get enough energy

First of all, to fuel your exercise performance and function well in everyday life, getting enough energy is vital. 

So, you need to make sure you get enough daily calories to meet your daily level of activity. Your daily caloric needs will depend on what you do, how often you train, your current size, and your personal goals. 

But, as a general rule of thumb, for the best performance outcomes, you’ll need to consume between 2,300 and 3,000 calories per day as an active person. 

SmartTip: This handy calorie calculator will give you an accurate rundown of how much energy you’ll need each day to fuel your performance and tackle endurance exercises with confidence.

Eat well. Eat balanced. Fuel your muscles

To improve sports performance, you need to get the right mix of macronutrients from a balanced mix of whole foods.

Stocking up on a varied mix of fruits, vegetables, lean protein sources, and nutrient-packed whole foods is the best way to power up your performance.

Eating the right ratios of performance-boosting foods is also an important piece of the puzzle.

Getting your percentages right

By focusing on your big-hitting macronutrients, you’ll optimise your performance, maintain a healthy muscle mass, and bounce back quickly after your training sessions.

For guidance, here are the ideal macronutrient percentages for athletic people (like you)...

  • Proteins: 40 to 60%
  • Carbohydrates: 20 to 25%
  • Healthy fats: 20 to 30%

Working with these percentages will level up your athletic abilities and aid exercise recovery—which is essential to ongoing performance. Double bonus.

Eating the right mix of performance-boosting foods

To consistently supercharge your performance and hit your fitness goals, eating a balanced fill of healthy whole foods is essential.

As a guide, here are some foods that can enhance athletic performance, split into the three main macronutrients.

Protein

This most essential of macronutrients is vital for post-workout recovery and aiding muscle protein synthesis. Basically, protein plays a key role in repairing muscle fibres and developing lean body mass.

Here are some of the best performance-boosting proteins to weave into your diet…

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lean jerky
  • Bison
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Nuts and butter
  • Seeds
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
Range Of High Protein Foods On Cutting Board
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Carbohydrates

As your body’s go-to energy source, carbohydrates are essential for fuelling your training sessions. If you frequently take part in high-intensity exercise, you need to eat a solid amount of healthy carbs to keep your glycogen stores topped up and maximise your energy levels.

Here are some healthy carbs that will enhance athletic performance in a big way…

  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Sweet potato
  • Pasta
  • Yoghurt
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Bananas
  • Dried fruit
Healthy fats

As a vital part of a balanced diet, healthy fats come with a treasure trove of performance-boosting perks for athletes or fitness lovers looking to take things to the next level. 

So, get your fill of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats to energise your training sessions, reduce body inflammation, increase your oxygen uptake, and improve your post-workout recovery.

Here are some of the healthy fats you need to succeed…

  • Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon and mackerel)
  • Whole nuts
  • Avocado
  • Tahini
  • Soybeans
  • Flax seeds and chia seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
SmartTip: Check out our essential guide to muscle-building foods, complete with a seven-day meal plan for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Drink water

This may sound obvious, but water is vital to performing well when it comes to training, workout sessions, and feats of endurance exercise.

One of the biggest performance-boosting benefits of staying hydrated during exercise is the fact that it helps to regulate your blood pressure. Sugar-crammed energy drinks, stand down.

By helping to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range during exercise, your heart won’t need to work harder than necessary. Drinking enough water will also improve blood circulation and deliver essential nutrients to your muscles. In turn, this will give you more strength and energy while increasing your endurance capacity.

SmartTip: To keep your energy levels in the green, level up your performance, and boost your muscle training response, you should aim to drink between seven and 10 ounces (just over a standard cup full) of water for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise you do.
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Performance Enhancing Supplements for better sports performance

Now we’ve looked at food and drink, let’s explore the types of performance-enhancing supplements that can help you reach your fitness goals.

But first…

How can supplements help you with endurance activities?

Well, the best performance-enhancing supplements contain a balanced mix of ingredients like branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), beta-alanine, creatine, glutamine or other naturally occurring compounds designed to improve training performance.

By filling in any nutritional gaps in your diet and fueling your body with ingredients designed to optimise your mind, body—or both—performance-enhancing supplements can…

  • · Improve speed
  • · Increase endurance
  • · Sustain energy
  • · Enhance focus
  • · Delay muscle fatigue

What is the best time to supplement your session?

To get the most from your performance-enhancing supplements, taking them at the right time is important.

The best time to take performance-enhancing supplements is around 15 to 30 minutes before your training session. Doing so will flood your body with the nutrients you need to reap all of the body-boosting rewards mentioned above.


Close Up Of Supplement Capsules
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What types of dietary supplements will boost your exercise performance?

You’re up to speed with the perks of supplementation—let’s look at the types of performance-boosting dietary supplements that can take your training sessions to the next level. 

Creatine

A quality creatine supplement will top up your stores and deliver essential nutrients to your muscles and enhance your energy levels before a big workout.

In addition to boosting your energy levels and delivering the right nutrients to your body, creatine supplementation will also reduce delay fatigue to increase endurance while helping to reduce muscle soreness. It’s a big-hitting type of supplement that will help you achieve Peak Performance time after time.

Protein powder

While most athletes take protein powders to meet their nutritional goals and get their daily fill of essential amino acids, protein powder can also play a role in levelling up your training performance.

The reason why protein powder supplements are linked to a general improvement in athletic performance comes down to muscle maintenance. By playing a lead role in the muscle protein synthesis process, these types of nutritional supplements can…

  • Allow your body to absorb the essential amino acids it needs more readily
  • Help you build more muscle mass and become stronger
  • Speed up the muscle repair and recovery process between workouts
SmartTip: Try our Whey Complete, The Protein Blend or Ve-Gains (for a muscle-boosting hit of plant-powered nutrition) to supplement your training performance.

Nootropic

SmartFact: An increasing number of athletes across sporting disciplines now take nootropics supplements because of their ability to improve cellular energy (ATP) production (3), boost oxygen flow, and improve mental focus.

While these types of supplements aren’t often associated with improved athletic performance, certain nootropics can elevate energy levels and sharpen mental focus. These two elements combined can give you a serious leg up when it comes to endurance activities, competitive sports or epic training sessions.

The likes of ashwagandha, Panax ginseng, and Bacopa monnieri are all nootropics known for their ability to improve brain function and cognitive performance.

If you’re looking to gain that all-important edge on the competition, our punchy nootropics supplement, known as The Booster, will give you the mental focus you need to power through and squeeze every last drop of extra juice from your sports or training session.

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Level up your physical performance the Smart way

If you want to consistently improve the way you perform, train or work out and keep hitting your fitness goals, prioritising your nutrition is essential.

By getting your fill of the right macronutrients (including plenty of protein!), staying hydrated, and using supplementation to give you an extra edge—you’ll be unstoppable.

If you want to level up your pre-workout performance the Smart way, try Peak Performance—our signature creatine monohydrate powder. With an epic 5g of creatine per serving, this punchy supplement will give you the added drive you need to push through even the most gruelling of training sessions. Go get some.

We hope this Smart guide helps you on your fitness journey and for tailored recommendations on the supplements or products that will help you reach (or even exceed) your aims, take our quick fire quiz.

Sources

Smart Protein is committed to sourcing only the best and scientifically-based research in our articles.

1. UA92:

https://ua92.ac.uk/news/nutrition-sports-performance/

2. The Sleep Foundation:

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition

3. Nootropics Expert:

https://nootropicsexpert.com/hack-your-mitochondria-with-nootropics/#:~:text=Without%20magnesium%2C%20your%20brain%20cannot,all%20brain%20function%20breaks%20down.&text=Neurohackers%20who%20add%20magnesium%20to,%2C%20memory%2C%20and%20cognitive%20ability.

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